Tales from the H&H Festival of Eventing: ‘I left all of my clothes at home’

  • One competitor at this weekend’s Horse & Hound Festival of Eventing at Keysoe (25—27 May) had a bit of a nasty surprise upon her arrival at the event on Friday. Sally Thornley, who is contesting the Ariat 90cm class, drove all the way from her Chelmsford base only to discover she had left her bag full of clothes for the week at home.

    “Thankfully I had my show jacket and one pair of breeches with me, but the rest was sitting back at Chelmsford,” laughs Sally. “I had nothing — no underwear, no normal clothes, nothing and I didn’t know what to do.”

    Sally said she considered driving back to pick them up, but her friends and fellow competitors said that they would lend her what they could, and the rest she could purchase from a nearby Tesco.

    “So off I went to Tesco and bought what I needed, only to get back to Keysoe and find all of the security tags on the underwear, so I couldn’t wear any of it!”

    Sally wrote all of this information on her cross-country commentary notes.

    “When I was in the cross-country start box, I looked over at the officials and they were bent over double laughing — they couldn’t believe it,” says Sally, who has a Facebook page named ‘Calamity Sal Attempts Eventing’. “This clearly isn’t an isolated incident — I’m always forgetting things!”

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    Sally is riding Tommy Russell this weekend, a horse she has owned for two-and-a-half years.

    “He is my first ever horse and although he was previously a showjumper, we are now having fun eventing — although he is lovely to ride, he is a nightmare on the ground,” explains Sally. “He sat on a car I was 24 hours away from trading in recently. I managed to get it sorted and then he destroyed the driver’s side door of my new car a day later. Thankfully he respects me when I’m on him!”

    The pair sit in 12th place going in the showjumping phase after a great clear cross-country round yesterday.

    Don’t miss the full report from the H&H Festival of Eventing in Horse & Hound magazine — on sale Thursday, 6 June

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